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WWoman fired for being too attractive. That's OK, court says

 
 
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 08:38 pm
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/iowa-court-oks-firing-female-worker-irresistibly-attractive-article-1.1226068?localLinksEnabled=false

http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1226067.1356224741!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_200/iowa23n-1-web.jpg

Quote:
Horndog bosses in Iowa have a new tool to save their marriages — they can fire employees who are too hot for the workplace.
The state’s all-male supreme court ruled 7-0 Friday that an Iowa City dentist legally canned his female assistant because she was “irresistibly attractive” and a threat to his marriage.
The bombshell ruling came after Melissa Nelson, 32, sued her boss of 10 years, Dr. James Knight, for gender discrimination.
The married mother claims she was fired in January 2010 after Knight’s wife became jealous of the pair’s relationship, which included harmless text messages between them outside of work.
“These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don’t think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses’ sexual desires,” Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, told the Associated Press. “If (the bosses) get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it.”



What do you think? It pays to be a dog?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 27 • Views: 5,781 • Replies: 117

 
Val Killmore
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 08:41 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
If you cover her face from mid-nose down, she looks like a man.
That's what passes for irresistibly attractive nowadays?
Or is that a mock image?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 08:50 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
geez, I know this was a problem 35 years ago (when I was moved to another dept as my boss didn't think it was fair to his wife for him to work with a young woman) but now?! it's startling that this is still happening and allowable. kinda disgusting.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 08:51 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lucky for me, I don't find her that attractive. Twisted Evil Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 11:11 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig,

Did you read the decision yourself, or are you making your judgement based on the sensationalistic news accounts?

It seems to me to be a reasonable decision in spite of the fact it makes a good headline.
roger
 
  4  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 11:20 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
@all

Seems like all the doc had to do was stop texting her. Also, if he just had to use the bulge in his pants (after all this time?) as an indicator of how she was dressed, he could have kept the information to himself for no other reason than to avoid a sexual harrassment suit.

Just maybe, Doc could have established a dress code? Did I mention he could quit texting her?
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 12:53 am
@Lustig Andrei,
For anyone who is interested in the facts, rather than the hyped up story written to produce the outrage that sells newspapers, here is the actual ruling.

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Recent_Opinions/20121221/11-1857.pdf

The comparison with the Tenge v. Phillips Modern Ag Co case is quite interesting.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 03:54 am
@Lustig Andrei,
I agree with the court's summary judgement that this was not a case of gender discrimination. I would say that either to woman got bad legal advice, or persisted in a suit against legal advice. It probably would have been better for her to have pursued a civil suit for damages--lost potential earnings and damage to reputation. The dentists certainly was a putz in this case, but she was no innocent flower, herself.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 04:14 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Putting aside all the specifics of this case and just speaking generally, if you can't fire someone for being too ugly then you shouldn't be able to fire anyone for being too attractive. It has to work both ways.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 04:34 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

Putting aside all the specifics of this case and just speaking generally, if you can't fire someone for being too ugly then you shouldn't be able to fire anyone for being too attractive. It has to work both ways.
the ugly are not protected from termination by the Constitution or any federal law, so your point is moot.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 05:06 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

rosborne979 wrote:

Putting aside all the specifics of this case and just speaking generally, if you can't fire someone for being too ugly then you shouldn't be able to fire anyone for being too attractive. It has to work both ways.
the ugly are not protected from termination by the Constitution or any federal law, so your point is moot.
You missed the point.
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 06:37 am
@Lustig Andrei,
I wonder about the use of this Catch 22 about an 'abusive environment'

Quote:
But sexual harassment violates our civil
rights laws because of the “hostile work environment” or “abusive
atmosphere” that it has created for persons of the victim’s sex. See, e.g.,
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 786–90, 118 S. Ct. 2275,
2283–84, 141 L. Ed. 2d 662, 675–78 (1998). On the other hand, an
isolated decision to terminate an employee before such an environment
arises, even if the reasons for termination are unjust, by definition does
not bring about that atmosphere


It would seem to me that being terminated from a position you've been performing for a decade is pretty abusive even if it is an abusive event.

It also seems Dr. Knight's actions were based wholly upon his wife's complaints and advice from his church. Both of which should be documented as culpable for the termination.

Rap
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 07:16 am
@rosborne979,
The comment has nothing to do with the case. The judgement has nothing to do with "firing someone for being too attractive". The defendant was claiming that she was fired for dressing and acting inappropriately.

You are commenting on the sensationalist newspaper headlines, not the facts of the case.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 07:21 am
@raprap,
Raprap,

At least you opened up the actual case, so we can discuss facts. I think your argument that firing someone creates a "abusive environment" is silly (the legal term is "hostile work environment"). First of all in this case there is no work environment. Secondly this would mean that no one could be fired.

But the Tenge case is more interesting. Let's ask the question that case raises.

If this dentist was having a sexual relationship with his assistant, would he then be within his rights to fire her? Certainly if my spouse were having an affair with her assistant, I would demand that she choose between her lover or her marriage.

raprap
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 07:39 am
@maxdancona,
Two points--at no time in the decision did it mention an ongoing 'sexual relationship' consequently that discussion here is off the book.

Second if the employee had adequately performed her job according to performance reviews (as was indicated that she had), then the termination in itself was an act of an abusive situation. One that was created by a collusion of the employer with his wife and his church.

Employee termination because of poor job performance, absences and tardiness are always justified with proper documentation. Not because of a fickle charge of a potential sexual relationship.

Rap

,
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 08:07 am
@raprap,
he should have fired the wife





out of a cannon





into the sun
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 08:13 am
@raprap,
Quote:
It also seems Dr. Knight's actions were based wholly upon his wife's complaints and advice from his church. Both of which should be documented as culpable for the termination.


If he was my dentist I think I would stop going to him and if his business is in a small town this can not be helpful to him.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 08:18 am
@raprap,
Well Raprap,

Four points.

1. This is a legal case. For the plaintiff to win, they have the burden of proof to show gender discrimination (or some other reason it was unlawful termination). The court was saying that there was no such discrimination. The ruling must be based on the facts of law (not the outrage of the yellow press or the unruly mob).

2. Iowa is an employee at will state. Your post has nothing to do with the way the law works. There is no documentation that would have changed the facts of this case or the ruling. Firing someone based on the advice of your wife or your church is not against the law unless you can show discrimination. The court found there was no discrimination.

3. You only heard one side of the story. This was a summary judgement. The court didn't consider the employer's side of the story, so we don't know the nature of the relationship. By making a summary judgement the court said (unanimously by the way) that even if everything that the plaintiff alleged was correct, they still had no case given the facts and the law.

4. The judges explain quite well, in their ruling, why the Tenge precedent is relevant. If you still don't understand it after you read it, we can discuss it.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 08:20 am
@raprap,
Quote:
Employee termination because of poor job performance, absences and tardiness are always justified with proper documentation. Not because of a fickle charge of a potential sexual relationship
.

Sorry in a large percents of US states an employer have a right to fire someone for any or no reason as long as the reason does not fly in the face of some protection such as race or serving on a jury and so on.

chai2
 
  3  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 09:15 am
@Lustig Andrei,
http://able2know.org/topic/204379-1

Here's a link to a thread I also started on this stupid court decision.

However, I find it disturbing that people here are making comments as to her worthiness of being considered attractive.
Her actual attractiveness, or not, is a moot point. The fact that this dentist found her attractive, and is punishing her because of it, is important.

The fact that the wife ordered him to punish someone else because of his inability to be professional in the workplace, is key.

 

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